Lane Smith was born in Oklahoma but moved to California as a child. He studied art at Art Center, College of Design in Pasadena, California, and helped pay his tuition by working as a janitor at Disneyland. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration, he moved to New York where he began his life as illustrator, working for several publications including Time, Mother Jones, and Ms.
Lane has both written and illustrated many books but has also collaborated with authors such as the talented Jon Scieszka. The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs are two striking examples of their work.
Lane has worked in other mediums, too. He was an art director for the 1996 movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. He has also worked for Disney and Pixar as a conceptual designer, working on Monsters, Inc. and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Other books include Madam President (2008), The Big Elephant In The Room (2009) and It’s a Little Book (2011).
Lane is married to book designer Molly Leach, who has designed nearly all of his books. Lane says “When she designed the Stinky Cheese Man back in 1992, folks called it a ‘watershed moment’. Suddenly every designer wanted to make books with crazy type and upside-down pages. The problem is it is very hard to do unless you know how. Molly knows how. She is also very funny and very pretty.”
Lane and Molly live in Connecticut and New York City.